Cool: MIAT Mongolian Just Flew Direct To Seattle

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Well this is kind of cool from an avgeek perspective, though perhaps otherwise not terribly useful.

MIAT Mongolian flew to Seattle

Over the weekend MIAT Mongolian operated a nonstop flight from Ulaanbaatar to Seattle, marking what was allegedly the first-ever nonstop flight from Mongolia to the US.

MIAT Mongolian’s long haul fleet consists of two Boeing 767-300s, and one of them flew to Seattle on Sunday.

The seven year old Boeing 767 with the registration code JU-1021 operated the ~5,300 mile eastbound flight in 10hr53min, and the return westbound flight was operated in just 11hr3min.

Unfortunately there were no passengers on this flight. Rather this flight was operated to deliver 60,000 pieces of personal protective equipment to FEMA for distribution in Arizona and Nevada.

I had the chance to fly MIAT Mongolian business class from Ulaanbaatar to Frankfurt a few years ago, and it was a fascinating flight.

MIAT Mongolian 767 business class

MIAT Mongolian was considering US flights last year

While this was purely a cargo flight, it is interesting to note that in early 2019 MIAT Mongolian filed with the US Department of Transportation for permission to operate wet lease flights to the US.

With this, the airline was requesting permission to operate flights to the US via an intermediate point in Korea, Japan, or Hong Kong. The airline had targeted a June 2019 launch, and wanted to fly to either Los Angeles or Washington.

While MIAT’s 767s wouldn’t have been capable of operating to Los Angeles or Washington nonstop without payload restrictions, they could have flown to Seattle nonstop.

I never really could make sense of that idea, because the economics of one stop wet leased service just seems odd. Therefore I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that nothing came of that.

MIAT Mongolian 767-300

Bottom line

It’s cool that a MIAT Mongolian 767 operated the first nonstop flight between Mongolia and the US. This was just to deliver supplies, so unfortunately no passengers got to experience this cool flight.

Early last year MIAT Mongolian had considered US service via an intermedia point on a wet lease basis. I’d imagine like many other routes that seemed aspirational, this one won’t be happening for a while, given all that’s going on.

(Tip of the hat to @MrP3rson)

  1. The flight returned to Mongolia yesterday, June 24 with passengers on board. It was a cool experience working at the airport that day.

  2. When this plane was delivered from Boeing in Seattle, wouldn’t it have presumably also been a US to Mongolia nonstop? 😉

  3. this was a repatriation flight for Mongolians stuck in the US due to the border closure since March. Mongolia closed its border due to covid-19 case by a french expat in March, cancelling all commercial flights (first country to do so, even before Kuwait). Yet the country refuses to take their nationals since then except via a few charter flights similar to the one from Seattle. Many mongolians are stuck with short term visit visas all over the world, and some who struggled financially committed suicide (in Poland, South Korea and Japan). The main reason that Mongolian government doesn’t accept the repatriation of citizens is the lack of quarantine facilities in the country. There are 12000 mongolians wanting to go home but the country has only 2000 beds at a time (because the government sets the price at only 20USD for 4 star hotels a night with 3 meals and hotels are not willing to join their government quarantine program, yes the passenger pays this, not the government) and the country requires 21 days of quarantine for passengers who were on these flights. It is nearly impossible to get a ticket on one of these flights because it operates 6-7 times a month with 260 pax at a time. The main reason why the government implements such a strict measure is to win an election that happened today. Of course, the current populist prime minister won the supermajority tonight because he is the hero who prevented the virus from coming into the country. Such a sad background behind this charter flight…

  4. Of course, here in Seattle we are used to seeing aircraft from all over the world. Because Boeing.

  5. Two things: is this aircraft wet leased as you claim? Secondly, there are (pre-Covid) several one stop fifth freedom flights operating. SQ have several, QF, CI, AC, CX, EK do you, as do several others. I do not think these would have existed unless they were profitable – these carriers are all operated as professional businesses and not just vanity projects.

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